Pekovic (ankle) was officially ruled out for the season Monday. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor intimated last week that Pekovic wouldn't play during the 2016-17 season while he battles recurring right ankle pain, likely stemming from April 2015 Achilles surgery of the same leg. Pekovic returned from that procedure to play in just 12 games before the ankle proved too much for him to overcome. While the Timberwolves noted in Monday's announcement that Pekovic will be evaluated for future seasons, it's quite likely that the 30-year-old may not be able to play at the NBA level again. Look for the Timberwolves to buy out the remaining two years of his contract before the season begins in order to open up a roster spot for another player.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Friday that Pekovic (Achilles) won't play this season and will likely have the remainder of his contract bought out, WCCO News Radio 830 reports. Pekovic was a consistent double-double threat for the Timberwolves from 2011-12 through 2014-15, but he was never able to truly recover after requiring surgery on his right Achilles in April 2015. He returned from the procedure last January, but played only 12 games before enduring a setback with the Achilles. With the injury still bothering him heading into training camp and not likely to improve over time, it appears the 30-year-old's playing career will come to a premature end, according to John Krawczynski of the Associated Press. While the Wolves' insurance policy will cover the remaining two years and $23.7 million on his contract, it's expected that he'll be waived in the near future to open up a roster spot for another player.
Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said Tuesday that Pekovic (Achilles) won't be ready for the start of training camp, Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Pekovic was able to resume working out earlier this month, but it's clear the big man is still suffering from the effects of his April 2015 surgery to repair his right Achilles. He was limited to 12 games last season before suffering a setback with the Achilles and being shut down for good in February. Though Pekovic is owed $23.7 million over the next two years, the Timberwolves appear to have abandoned hope of him contributing again, as the team went out and signed Jordan Hill and Cole Aldrich this offseason to serve as the backups to Gorgui Dieng and Karl-Anthony Towns, respectively. With that in mind, don't be surprised if the Timberwolves waive Pekovic before the season begins in order to open up a roster spot.
Pekovic (Achilles) is working out but is "still not ready physically," ESPN 1500 Twin Cities reports. In a radio interview Tuesday, Sam Wolson on ESPN 1500 reported that Pekovic is back in Minneapolis working out with Wolves personnel, but he's still bothered by the lower-leg/foot issues that have limited him to only 43 games over the last two seasons. It's certainly not good news for Pekovic, who, even if healthy, will have trouble carving out more than a minor bench role this season given the presence of Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng. That said, with the regular season nearly two months away, Pekovic still has time to make significant progress.
Pekovic has been ruled out indefinitely as he continues to recover from surgery on his right Achilles. "Our main concern is for the health of Nikola," Wolves GM Milt Newton said in a press release issued Tuesday. "Our priority is getting him back on the court, playing at a consistent level for a sustained period of time." Pekovic underwent a debridement and repair of his right Achilles in April of last year and while he's appeared in 12 games for Minnesota this season, he hasn't looked like himself and is clearly still hampered by the injury. The team's press release did not provide a timetable for Pekovic's return, but he figures to miss several weeks, at the minimum, especially considering the Wolves have no incentive to rush him back as they careen toward a high lottery pick. "While we've made significant strides with Nikola since his surgery, we've come to the conclusion that to ensure he has the best opportunity for sustained success on the court, we need to continue to focus on his rehab and make that the priory," Wolves vice president of sports performance Arnie Kander stated in the release. "We will continue to do that for the foreseeable future with the goal of him returning to the court at the appropriate time."
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